As the days get cooler and you turn on your heating system, it’s also important to turn on your whole house humidifier. Don’t have one? Take it from The Coop, read on…this information is for you!
Although many homeowners are acquainted with humidifiers and understand that there are benefits to having one, many people are hazy on just how important a humidifier can be to your health and the well-being of your home. The EPA suggests maintaining a relative humidity level between 40-50% inside your home. When humidity drops below this level, you may become aware of clues that signal a humidifier may be beneficial such as:
- Your skin is dry and lips are chapped during the winter
- Family members have heightened allergy systems, throat irritation and inflamed sinuses
- You have respiratory symptoms that seem like allergies but you don’t have any allergies
- Your family has multiple colds or viruses
- You’re being shocked by static electricity when you stroke your pet
- You’ve noticed widening spaces between the planks of your wood flooring
- Caulking around your windows and doors shrinks and cracks
- Plants look brown around the edges of the leaves
- You still feel cold even though you’ve increased the temperature on your thermostat
If you or a member of your family experience some or all of the above complaints, then it’s time to learn about the advantages of a whole house humidifier.
Simple Concept, Important Benefits
Here it is in a nutshell: humidifiers maintain a constant, comfortable amount of humidity in your home’s air during the cold, winter months when the air is naturally dry. Adding moisture into the air not only enhances your overall comfort-level, it delivers a proper amount of moisture to the contents of your home to keep everything in good shape. Humidifiers require a source of moisture and a method for delivery throughout the home. There are 3 types of humidifiers to choose from including:
Bypass humidifier: working in tandem with the furnace, the humidifier evaporator panel is located in a position that allows part of the airstream to move through the moisture-laden water panel and then the furnace’s blower pushes the warm air through the duct system.
Fan humidifier: also working with the furnace, the humidifier evaporator panel is infused with warm water and its own fan blows air through the panel and disperses moisture directly through the duct work system.
Steam humidifier: operating in conjunction with your furnace, this humidifier creates steam by energizing 2 electrodes that extend into the canister’s water reservoir. The current, running between the 2 electrodes, causes the water to boil, generating steam which is then delivered through the duct work.
No duct work? Not to worry. Many homeowners are under the impression that whole house humidification isn’t possible without a duct work system to deliver the moisture throughout the home, but that’s not accurate. Standalone steam humidifiers are available for homes utilizing radiators, baseboard or radiant heat that don’t use a ductwork system to disperse heat. Equipped with its own fan pack which is recessed into a wall so it’s barely noticeable, it connects directly to the humidifier and emits moisture directly into the airstream of your home.
Regardless of the option you choose, all you have to do is set the humidity level you require using the humidistat included with the system, and then forget about it all season long. The filter or canister (depending upon your model) just needs to be cleaned or replaced once a year during routine preventative maintenance of your heating system. After it’s turned on, the humidifier operates automatically — no noise, no water bucket to empty – a precise amount of healthy moisture is consistently circulated throughout your home, 24/7.
Of course, like most things, humidifiers are not one size fits all. It’s important to hire a professional heating company, such as Cooper Mechanical, who will assess your requirements and recommend the right type and size of system for your home. Then, skilled installers will set-up the new humidifier at a reasonable price.
At the end of the cold weather season, just turn-off your humidifier. As the temperature outside rises, moisture will naturally increase and you won’t need it. In fact, for most climates, once it gets warm, you’ll depend on your air conditioner to decrease the amount of humidity in the air and quite likely, you’ll benefit from a dehumidifier – but that’s a blog for another day…